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Soil Sciences

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Soil Sciences Major

434 yearly degrees
#294 in popularity
$81,000 median salary

Soil sciences is a major that typically falls into the Agriculture category.

There are 2 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in soil sciences, 27 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 23 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 23 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Soil Sciences Degree?

Soil sciences is one of the least chosen majors in the country, ranked #236 in popularity. About 300 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field in 2017. This major tends to be male dominated. About 68.6% of recent graduates are men.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of soil sciences majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 0.7%
  • Black or African American: 0%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 2.9%
  • White: 82.5%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 9.5%
  • Other Races: 4.4%
Soil Sciences Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in soil sciences. About 9.5% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending soil sciences majors to the U.S. are China, India and Brazil.

What Will You Learn as a Soil Sciences Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to soil sciences to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Soil Sciences Majors

Soil sciences majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Soil Sciences Majors

Skills for Soil Sciences Majors

When studying soil sciences, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

Important Skills for Soil Sciences Majors

Abilities for Soil Sciences Majors

Soil sciences majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

Important Abilities for soil sciences Majors

What Can You Do With a Soil Sciences Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with soil sciences:

Careers Related to Soil Sciences
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Microbiologists

8.2%

$71,650

Soil and Plant Scientists

9%

$63,950

Agricultural Sciences Professors

7.9%

$84,640

Soil Sciences Major Salary

Average salaries range from $71,000 to $91,000 for careers related to soil sciences. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Soil Sciences Major  ( 71000 to 91000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
$0
$200k
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )
$0
$200k

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Soil Sciences Major Jobs

Some careers associated with soil sciences require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for soil sciences careers below.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Soil Sciences
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma

0%

High School Diploma or Equivalent

0%

Post-Secondary Certificate

0%

Some College Courses

0%

Associate's Degree or Equivalent

1.8%

Bachelor's Degree

21%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

5.5%

Master's Degree

18.1%

Post-Master's Certificate

1.6%

First Professional Degree

0%

Doctoral Degree

35.2%

Post-Doctoral Training

16.7%

Online Soil Sciences Programs

There are 27 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in soil sciences, with 0 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Online learners benefit from being able to watch lectures remotely and complete coursework on their schedule, but they also take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to dropout.

Is a Soil Sciences Major Worth It?

The median salary for a soil sciences grad is $81,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 109% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $845,000 after 20 years!

soil sciences salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Bdx via License

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